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Visitors lined up at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning as the justices prepared to hand down decisions. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

With less than two weeks left in the U.S. Supreme Court’s term, the justices handed down four decisions on Monday. Defying predictions, three were decided by shifting liberal-conservative coalitions.

Here, in a nutshell, are the results, as well as the fascinating shifting votes:

Dual sovereignty upheld, with Ginsburg, Gorsuch dissenting

In a 7-2 vote, the court reaffirmed its 100-year-old rule declaring that state governments and the federal government may each prosecute a person separately for the same crime, without violating the Constitution’s double jeopardy clause. Dissenting were the court’s leading liberal justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and one of its most conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch.

Racial gerrymandering case thrown out with a mix of liberals, conservatives

Spurning pleas from Virginia Republicans, the court let stand decisions by lower courts finding that 11 state House districts were racially gerrymandered in violation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court said the Republican-dominated Virginia House of Delegates had no legal standing to appeal to the Supreme Court on its own when the state Senate and the state’s attorney general had decided against appealing.

Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority. She was joined by conservative justices Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas and liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Dissenting were conservative justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as liberal justice Stephen Breyer.

Uranium ban upheld again with an ideological mix

The court upheld Virginia’s ban on uranium mining. In a 6-3 vote, the justices said that the state law was not superseded by the federal Atomic Energy Act.

Writing for the court’s majority, Gorsuch said the Atomic Energy Act gives the federal government the authority to regulate nuclear safety but not the authority to regulate mining itself. Fellow conservatives Thomas and Kavanaugh joined the Gorsuch opinion in full, but liberal justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan agreed only with his bottom line. They refused to sign on to Gorsuch’s broad language about matters that they said, “sweep well beyond the confines of this case.”

Dissenting were Roberts, Breyer and Alito.

One traditional 5-4 split

The only classic conservative-liberal split on Monday came in a case testing whether a private corporation that runs a public access TV channel in New York City is a public forum that, like a public park, cannot discriminate against speakers.

The court, in a 5-4 vote, concluded that the public access channel was owned by Time Warner, not by the city. And because it was privately owned, the channel could not be sued for refusing to air a movie.

Kavanaugh wrote the decision for the five conservative justices, declaring that “[M]erely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function.”

Therefore, channel operators cannot be sued for violating the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. At first blush, at least, the decision would seem to preclude First Amendment lawsuits against private platform operators, like Twitter and Facebook, though Kavanaugh warned that the decision should not be read “too broadly.”

Dissenting were the court’s four liberal justices.

What’s still left?

On Thursday, the court is expected to hand down more of the 20 remaining decisions on its docket. Among those are the three blockbuster cases of the term:

  • The American Legion v. American Humanist Association: a case from Maryland that tests whether a giant World War I memorial in the shape of a Latin cross is, as the challengers maintain, a symbol of Christianity that violates the Constitution’s ban on establishment of religion. The objectors are seeking its removal to private property and an end to taxpayer funding of the cross.
  • Rucho v. Common Cause (North Carolina) and Lamone v. Benisek (Maryland): cases from North Carolina and Maryland that test whether there is any constitutional limit to extreme partisan gerrymandering that serves to entrench one-party domination of congressional seats in states that are more narrowly divided.
  • Department of Commerce v. New York: State and local governments are challenging the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Census Bureau’s own experts have warned that adding the question will lead to a serious and uneven undercount of the population, with potentially profound political consequences.

These three decisions (and 17 others) remain in the wings.

FILE PHOTO - Actress Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary
FILE PHOTO – Actress Gloria Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid” during the Television Critics Association Cable Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

June 17, 2019

By Bill Trott

(Reuters) – Gloria Vanderbilt, the “poor little rich girl” who lived a life at the highest levels of fashion, society and wealth as an heir to one of the greatest family fortunes in U.S. history, died on Monday at the age of 95, her son, CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper, said.

The network said Vanderbilt died at home among family and friends. Cooper said she had learned this month that she had stomach cancer.

Vanderbilt became a fashion icon in the 1970s and ’80s with an eponymous line of tight-fitting blue jeans that bore her signature and trademark swan logo. They were a must-have for any woman with aspirations to style.

“If you were around in early 1980s it was pretty hard to miss the jeans she helped create but that was her public face – the one she learned to hide behind as a child,” Cooper said on CNN. “Her private self, her real self – that was more fascinating and more lovely than anything she showed the public.”

Vanderbilt wrote that as a girl she had considered becoming a nun, which would have been an incredible loss to the chroniclers of high society and celebrity tumult. Instead of a nunnery, she went on to a life that could have provided storylines for dozens of soap operas, romance novels, Broadway musicals and tear-jerker movies.

Vanderbilt was born into wealth on Feb. 20, 1924, in New York City. She was the great-great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the 19th century railroad and shipping magnate who amassed one of the greatest fortunes of the time.

She was not yet 2 years old when her father, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, died and she spent many of the following years living in Europe with her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, on her trust fund, which was estimated at $2.5 million – the equivalent of at least $33 million today.

Gloria’s aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who founded the Whitney Museum of American Art, said Gloria’s mother was misusing the trust fund on a free-wheeling lifestyle that included a female lover, and went to court. Whitney won custody of the child in an acrimonious, sensationalized case that eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

The custody battle featured high-society character witnesses for both sides and testimony so sensitive that courtroom spectators were barred at times. The public closely followed the fate of “Little Gloria,” who was protected at the time by 12 bodyguards.

Whitney eventually won custody of Gloria with one judge reproaching the girl’s mother for living a lifestyle that was “calculated to destroy her health and neglectful of her moral, spiritual and mental education.”

Vanderbilt said being taken from her mother started her on a lifelong quest for love and approval. This led her to marry a 32-year-old Hollywood agent, Pat DiCicco, when she was only 17. They divorced in 1945, when at the age of 21, Vanderbilt married conductor Leopold Stokowski, who was 63.

The couple had two sons and by the time they separated in 1955, Vanderbilt was being seen around New York with singer Frank Sinatra. After another divorce, Vanderbilt found herself in another custody fight – this time with Stokowski claiming that she was an unfit mother who spent too much time in psychotherapy.

From 1956 to 1963 Vanderbilt was married to Sidney Lumet, director of the acclaimed films “12 Angry Men,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Serpico” and “Network.”

She was married to her fourth husband, writer Wyatt Cooper, until his death during heart surgery in 1978. They had two sons, Anderson and Carter.

In 1988, in the greatest tragedy of Vanderbilt’s life, Carter, aged 23, killed himself by jumping from the family’s 14th-floor apartment in New York, in spite of his mother’s attempts to stop him.

She later wrote a memoir, “A Mother’s Story,” in which she reflected on her painful upbringing and blamed Carter’s suicide on psychosis brought on by an anti-asthma drug.

Vanderbilt called her son’s death “the final loss, the fatal loss that stripped me bare,” and said she did not think she could survive it.

In a 2012 television interview with her son Anderson, she said she thought about the tragedy every day and that she had considered jumping after her son.

“There was a moment when I thought I was going to jump after him but then I thought of you … and it stopped me from doing that,” she told Anderson.

Vanderbilt dabbled in acting, painting, poetry and modeling before the Hallmark greeting card company bought some of her artwork for a line of paper goods in the early 1970s. Her work also graced a collection of scarves before she started the line of jeans and expanded to perfume, shoes, leather goods and accessories. In 1978 she sold her Gloria Vanderbilt brand and started another fashion company.

Vanderbilt won a $1.5 million judgment in 1993 against her lawyer and psychiatrist, claiming they had stolen from her. Because the lawyer had not paid her taxes for several years, she owed the Internal Revenue Service so much money she had to sell a summer home in Southampton and a New York City home.

Sex, Vanderbilt said, was a subject she found endlessly fascinating. One of her memoirs told of her romances with Hollywood figures such as Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Gene Kelly and Howard Hughes (she was a teenager at the time), as well as various married men. In 2009 at age 85 she published an explicit erotic novel, “Obsession.”

Vanderbilt also challenged racial standards of the times by dating black photographer-filmmaker Gordon Parks in the 1950s.

“I embrace it all – the pain and the pleasure, the drama and the disappointments,” Vanderbilt wrote in summing up her life in the romantic memoir, “It Seemed Important at the Time.”

(Reporting by Bill Trott in Washington; Editing by David Brunnstrom and Matthew Lewis)

Source: OANN

The behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race is reaching a fevered peak this week as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days, racing ahead of a June 30 filing deadline when they must disclose their latest financial hauls.

With millions of dollars on the line, top New York donors are already beginning to pick favorites, and three candidates are generating most of the buzz: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Kamala Harris of California and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

It is, at first blush, an unusual grouping, considering that the mayor of New York City (Bill de Blasio), the state’s junior senator (Kirsten Gillibrand) and a neighboring senator with deep ties to New York’s elite (Cory Booker of New Jersey) are all in the race and vying for their money.

Interviews with two dozen top contributors, fund-raisers and political advisers on Wall Street and beyond revealed that while many are still hedging their bets, those who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him. These dynamics raise the prospect of growing financial advantages for some candidates and closed doors for others.

“There is going to be a real income inequality,” Steven Rattner, a Wall Street executive and Democratic donor, said of the coming fund-raising results for the second quarter, which covers April through June. “You are going to see a big separation between the rich and the poor.”

This is an especially important moment for Mr. Biden: He will soon say how much money he has raised since entering the race on April 25 — the first such disclosure of his campaign — and his team knows the reinforcing power of a big haul to cement his status as the Democratic front-runner. The pressure is intense on other candidates to demonstrate momentum among big and small donors alike, with the aim of raising more money in the spring than the winter, when Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ms. Harris, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Mr. Buttigieg took in the most.

Not everyone is chasing Wall Street cash: Two candidates in the top tier of polls, Mr. Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have railed against the financial industry and opted against the kind of fancy fund-raisers with catering and $2,800 admission prices that lubricate the donor industry.

Still, in New York, the supply and demand is so strong that there are fund-raisers almost daily from morning until night.

Hamilton E. James, the executive vice chairman of Blackstone and a top fund-raiser, hosted Mr. Buttigieg at his home on Thursday. The short-selling hedge fund manager James Chanos will hold an event for Mr. Biden on Monday. And on Tuesday, Marc Lasry, the hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is gathering checks for Ms. Harris. Co-hosts of that event include Blair W. Effron, an investment bank co-founder and an influential Democratic financier, and Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup.

Among those spreading the money around is Brad Karp, the chairman of the Paul, Weiss law firm and a top attorney for Wall Street institutions. He is hosting Mr. Biden for a reception at 9 a.m. on Tuesday; he is a co-host for a “lawyer’s lunch” for Ms. Harris that same day, according to invitations obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Karp, who donated to Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker in the first quarter, did not respond to a request for comment.

The momentum of big money in New York toward Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris is mirrored in contributor circles nationally, according to donors and campaign advisers, as well as in poll results: The trio is usually among the top five candidates in early primary states and national surveys.

Kamala Harris, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations.

“Those are the three,” said Julianna Smoot, who was national finance director for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and remains plugged into the donor community.

Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations, much as Mr. Obama’s campaigns successfully did, though New York’s business-minded donors described different factors pulling them toward each candidate.

They are attracted to Mr. Biden’s ideological moderation and his seeming chances of victory over President Trump in 2020; they are inspired by Mr. Buttigieg’s charisma and intellect; and they are drawn to Ms. Harris’s potential as a possible primary victor even as she now trails in the polls, in addition to her potential to reassemble the kind of winning multiethnic electoral coalition that elected Mr. Obama twice.

“Businesspeople are first of all pragmatists,” said Kathryn Wylde, who heads the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit whose board includes many of the city’s biggest business leaders. “They’re going to support the most moderate Democrats they think have a chance to win.”

Mr. Biden made explicit at a fund-raiser last Monday in Washington that he does not plan to demonize the financial industry like some rivals have, saying that “Wall Street and significant bankers” can “be positive influences in the country.” (As a senator for Delaware, Mr. Biden was regarded as an ally of financial institutions in the state, such as the credit card industry.)

Donors described various doubts about even their favored candidates: Mr. Biden’s age, say, or Mr. Buttigieg’s inexperience, or whether Ms. Harris’s political skills will play on the biggest stage.

“If you could roll all three of them into a single candidate,” Ms. Smoot said, “you’d have the perfect candidate.”

One of the most surprising developments of the 2020 race is how quickly Mr. Buttigieg, a virtual unknown only a few months ago, has vaulted into competition with Mr. Biden and other leading candidates for top party donors in New York and elsewhere.

Mr. Buttigieg is expected to post among the most robust second-quarter fund-raising figures. Even a donor who recently put together an event for one of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals said that, these days, “the easiest event to sell out is a Buttigieg event.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s freshness has proved an advantage on the donor circuit: After he leapt in the polls this spring, contributors have jumped at the chance to pay $1,000 or more to size him up in person. A Harvard graduate and veteran of the McKinsey consultancy, Mr. Buttigieg is fluent in the language of elite New York circles, helping him transcend his initial base of donors in the gay community.

“Everyone who has seen him in the flesh thinks he’s fantastic,” said Mr. Rattner, who attended a recent Buttigieg event and has donated to other 2020 candidates.

Mr. Buttigieg has hired a full-time professional New York fund-raiser, even though there may be limits to his New York fund-raising: Regulatory rules prevent certain Wall Street employees with public pension business from donating to city or state officials, like a sitting mayor. So far, Mr. Biden has not hired a full-time New York fund-raiser.

Mr. Biden could get a boost in New York from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who is expected to introduce the former vice president at Monday’s event, if he eventually lines up his formidable fund-raising muscle behind Mr. Biden. Mr. Cuomo has raised more than $100 million for his own campaigns; several of Mr. Biden’s co-hosts are longtime Cuomo backers.

Though Ms. Gillibrand is the home-state senator, most of the talk about her in New York donor circles has been how little talk there is about her. Some New York donors said they donated to Ms. Gillibrand, but only out of loyalty or obligation.

“I don’t think she’s gotten much traction in New York State. I think everybody loves her as a senator but is not excited about her being president,” said Mitch Draizin, a former fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, who made his money in the financial industry and is supporting Mr. Biden.

Before Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg gained momentum, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker had raised the most money in New York ($1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively) from those who gave at least $200 in the first quarter.

But their edge over Ms. Harris (who raised $911,000 in New York in the first quarter) was small compared with Ms. Harris’s dominance in California. There, she raised $4.3 million last quarter; no other Democrat raised $900,000, records show.

Mr. Booker, a fixture on the New York donor circuit for nearly two decades, has some key backers, including Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Goldman Sachs alum, and Donald Sussman, the billionaire hedge funder who is a top Democratic financier. Mr. Sussman’s daughter Carolyn Tisch Blodgett is hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Booker on Wednesday; he had another Wall Street-linked event last week.

But Mr. Booker and Ms. Gillibrand are suffering in part from their low standing in the polls. Wall Street titans, in particular, have made their money wagering on winners.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, for instance, is often mentioned as a favorite of New York’s donor class, and he has Jill Straus, a connected New York fund-raising consultant, helping him. Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana has impressed, too. Few described taking them seriously, even as some contributed to them.

Another candidate with a foothold in the finance sector is Mr. O’Rourke, who was hosted on Wednesday at the New York home of Mark Gallogly, a major Wall Street fund-raiser.

David Adelman, who co-hosted that event and is an attorney who represents the financial industry, said he felt a “generational pull” and found Mr. O’Rourke inspiring: “It is important to rotate the crops.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s rise appears to have come, in particular, at Mr. O’Rourke expense as a fresh-faced alternative to Mr. Biden. In a sign of how New York’s money circle extends beyond the finance sector, both Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. O’Rourke recently made time for private sit-downs with Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser.

As for Mr. de Blasio, he has openly shunned the financial sector throughout his mayoralty and has made the concentration of wealth in the “wrong hands” a central part of his 2020 message.

Mr. de Blasio has begun calling many of the same New York donors he has leaned on to fund his past municipal campaigns, according to people familiar with his activity. About two weeks before his 2020 launch, Mr. de Blasio also attended the closed-door meeting of the executive committee meeting of the Partnership for New York City.

New York donors are still giving to Mr. de Blasio, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker. After all, if they lose, they will still be in City Hall or the United States Senate.

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The behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race is reaching a fevered peak this week as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days, racing ahead of a June 30 filing deadline when they must disclose their latest financial hauls.

With millions of dollars on the line, top New York donors are already beginning to pick favorites, and three candidates are generating most of the buzz: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Kamala Harris of California and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

It is, at first blush, an unusual grouping, considering that the mayor of New York City (Bill de Blasio), the state’s junior senator (Kirsten Gillibrand) and a neighboring senator with deep ties to New York’s elite (Cory Booker of New Jersey) are all in the race and vying for their money.

Interviews with two dozen top contributors, fund-raisers and political advisers on Wall Street and beyond revealed that while many are still hedging their bets, those who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him. These dynamics raise the prospect of growing financial advantages for some candidates and closed doors for others.

“There is going to be a real income inequality,” Steven Rattner, a Wall Street executive and Democratic donor, said of the coming fund-raising results for the second quarter, which covers April through June. “You are going to see a big separation between the rich and the poor.”

This is an especially important moment for Mr. Biden: He will soon say how much money he has raised since entering the race on April 25 — the first such disclosure of his campaign — and his team knows the reinforcing power of a big haul to cement his status as the Democratic front-runner. The pressure is intense on other candidates to demonstrate momentum among big and small donors alike, with the aim of raising more money in the spring than the winter, when Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ms. Harris, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Mr. Buttigieg took in the most.

Not everyone is chasing Wall Street cash: Two candidates in the top tier of polls, Mr. Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have railed against the financial industry and opted against the kind of fancy fund-raisers with catering and $2,800 admission prices that lubricate the donor industry.

Still, in New York, the supply and demand is so strong that there are fund-raisers almost daily from morning until night.

Hamilton E. James, the executive vice chairman of Blackstone and a top fund-raiser, hosted Mr. Buttigieg at his home on Thursday. The short-selling hedge fund manager James Chanos will hold an event for Mr. Biden on Monday. And on Tuesday, Marc Lasry, the hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is gathering checks for Ms. Harris. Co-hosts of that event include Blair W. Effron, an investment bank co-founder and an influential Democratic financier, and Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup.

Among those spreading the money around is Brad Karp, the chairman of the Paul, Weiss law firm and a top attorney for Wall Street institutions. He is hosting Mr. Biden for a reception at 9 a.m. on Tuesday; he is a co-host for a “lawyer’s lunch” for Ms. Harris that same day, according to invitations obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Karp, who donated to Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker in the first quarter, did not respond to a request for comment.

The momentum of big money in New York toward Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris is mirrored in contributor circles nationally, according to donors and campaign advisers, as well as in poll results: The trio is usually among the top five candidates in early primary states and national surveys.

Kamala Harris, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations.

“Those are the three,” said Julianna Smoot, who was national finance director for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and remains plugged into the donor community.

Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations, much as Mr. Obama’s campaigns successfully did, though New York’s business-minded donors described different factors pulling them toward each candidate.

They are attracted to Mr. Biden’s ideological moderation and his seeming chances of victory over President Trump in 2020; they are inspired by Mr. Buttigieg’s charisma and intellect; and they are drawn to Ms. Harris’s potential as a possible primary victor even as she now trails in the polls, in addition to her potential to reassemble the kind of winning multiethnic electoral coalition that elected Mr. Obama twice.

“Businesspeople are first of all pragmatists,” said Kathryn Wylde, who heads the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit whose board includes many of the city’s biggest business leaders. “They’re going to support the most moderate Democrats they think have a chance to win.”

Mr. Biden made explicit at a fund-raiser last Monday in Washington that he does not plan to demonize the financial industry like some rivals have, saying that “Wall Street and significant bankers” can “be positive influences in the country.” (As a senator for Delaware, Mr. Biden was regarded as an ally of financial institutions in the state, such as the credit card industry.)

Donors described various doubts about even their favored candidates: Mr. Biden’s age, say, or Mr. Buttigieg’s inexperience, or whether Ms. Harris’s political skills will play on the biggest stage.

“If you could roll all three of them into a single candidate,” Ms. Smoot said, “you’d have the perfect candidate.”

One of the most surprising developments of the 2020 race is how quickly Mr. Buttigieg, a virtual unknown only a few months ago, has vaulted into competition with Mr. Biden and other leading candidates for top party donors in New York and elsewhere.

Mr. Buttigieg is expected to post among the most robust second-quarter fund-raising figures. Even a donor who recently put together an event for one of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals said that, these days, “the easiest event to sell out is a Buttigieg event.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s freshness has proved an advantage on the donor circuit: After he leapt in the polls this spring, contributors have jumped at the chance to pay $1,000 or more to size him up in person. A Harvard graduate and veteran of the McKinsey consultancy, Mr. Buttigieg is fluent in the language of elite New York circles, helping him transcend his initial base of donors in the gay community.

“Everyone who has seen him in the flesh thinks he’s fantastic,” said Mr. Rattner, who attended a recent Buttigieg event and has donated to other 2020 candidates.

Mr. Buttigieg has hired a full-time professional New York fund-raiser, even though there may be limits to his New York fund-raising: Regulatory rules prevent certain Wall Street employees with public pension business from donating to city or state officials, like a sitting mayor. So far, Mr. Biden has not hired a full-time New York fund-raiser.

Mr. Biden could get a boost in New York from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who is expected to introduce the former vice president at Monday’s event, if he eventually lines up his formidable fund-raising muscle behind Mr. Biden. Mr. Cuomo has raised more than $100 million for his own campaigns; several of Mr. Biden’s co-hosts are longtime Cuomo backers.

Though Ms. Gillibrand is the home-state senator, most of the talk about her in New York donor circles has been how little talk there is about her. Some New York donors said they donated to Ms. Gillibrand, but only out of loyalty or obligation.

“I don’t think she’s gotten much traction in New York State. I think everybody loves her as a senator but is not excited about her being president,” said Mitch Draizin, a former fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, who made his money in the financial industry and is supporting Mr. Biden.

Before Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg gained momentum, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker had raised the most money in New York ($1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively) from those who gave at least $200 in the first quarter.

But their edge over Ms. Harris (who raised $911,000 in New York in the first quarter) was small compared with Ms. Harris’s dominance in California. There, she raised $4.3 million last quarter; no other Democrat raised $900,000, records show.

Mr. Booker, a fixture on the New York donor circuit for nearly two decades, has some key backers, including Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Goldman Sachs alum, and Donald Sussman, the billionaire hedge funder who is a top Democratic financier. Mr. Sussman’s daughter Carolyn Tisch Blodgett is hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Booker on Wednesday; he had another Wall Street-linked event last week.

But Mr. Booker and Ms. Gillibrand are suffering in part from their low standing in the polls. Wall Street titans, in particular, have made their money wagering on winners.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, for instance, is often mentioned as a favorite of New York’s donor class, and he has Jill Straus, a connected New York fund-raising consultant, helping him. Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana has impressed, too. Few described taking them seriously, even as some contributed to them.

Another candidate with a foothold in the finance sector is Mr. O’Rourke, who was hosted on Wednesday at the New York home of Mark Gallogly, a major Wall Street fund-raiser.

David Adelman, who co-hosted that event and is an attorney who represents the financial industry, said he felt a “generational pull” and found Mr. O’Rourke inspiring: “It is important to rotate the crops.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s rise appears to have come, in particular, at Mr. O’Rourke expense as a fresh-faced alternative to Mr. Biden. In a sign of how New York’s money circle extends beyond the finance sector, both Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. O’Rourke recently made time for private sit-downs with Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser.

As for Mr. de Blasio, he has openly shunned the financial sector throughout his mayoralty and has made the concentration of wealth in the “wrong hands” a central part of his 2020 message.

Mr. de Blasio has begun calling many of the same New York donors he has leaned on to fund his past municipal campaigns, according to people familiar with his activity. About two weeks before his 2020 launch, Mr. de Blasio also attended the closed-door meeting of the executive committee meeting of the Partnership for New York City.

New York donors are still giving to Mr. de Blasio, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker. After all, if they lose, they will still be in City Hall or the United States Senate.

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WASHINGTON — Two of the best-known women in Democratic politics had just recorded a video to upbraid Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez started bantering about the final episode of “Game of Thrones.” Their riff bemoaning the show’s anti-feminist finale was caught on tape, slapped up on Twitter, and in a flash drew almost 2 million viewers.

Most every time Warren and Ocasio-Cortez have teamed up of late — for lunch, legislative matters and video messaging — they have drawn millions of eyeballs.

They have also raised eyebrows.

Warren fans wonder whether — and hope that — Ocasio-Cortez may eventually endorse the Massachusetts senator in her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

But the freshman House member, a superstar of the progressive movement, has more history with Warren’s leading rival for progressive votes in the 2020 Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. They too have teamed up on many legislative and political matters. Many Democrats find it hard to imagine Ocasio-Cortez will not eventually back Sanders, as she did in 2016.

The fact that a 29-year-old freshman House member is being sought out by two presidential candidates with years of congressional seniority who are more than twice her age speaks volumes about the state of the Democratic Party and the dynamics of its primary process.

Ocasio-Cortez embodies a younger generation of Democrats led by women and people of color — a progressive voting bloc that brings intense passion to the fight to oust President Donald Trump. She also has a gift for creating social media sensations that old-school Democrats can only dream of.

“I would argue that she is one of the most important endorsements in the Democratic Party right now,” said Rebecca Katz, a strategist who used to work for former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. “She has a huge reach beyond any other member of Congress. She knows how to use her voice.”

That voice could make a big difference in the sub rosa contest between Warren and Sanders for dominance among the party’s most progressive voters and in the jockeying to emerge as the leading left challenger to Joe Biden, who currently leads in polling. Sanders, who became a folk hero to progressives in his 2016 presidential bid, has held a significant lead over Warren since he entered the race, but the spread has narrowed in recent weeks.

Ocasio-Cortez told CNN this spring that she did not expect to make an endorsement in the crowded 2020 field “for a while,” but in discussing what she was looking for in a nominee, she singled out Warren and Sanders.

“What I would like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent worldview and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I think Sen. Sanders has that. I also think Sen. Warren has that.”

Asked for more specifics about when she would make an endorsement, her spokesman, Corbin Trent, said it would be early enough to have an impact.

“She wants to make sure her endorsement matters in the race,” he said. “Timing is important.”

One candidate she almost surely will not endorse in the early primaries is Biden.

He “does not particularly animate me,” she said in an interview earlier this spring with the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery.”

But she was, perhaps surprisingly, prepared to be a party loyalist in the end: “I will support whoever the Democratic nominee is,” she said.

For Democrats other than Warren and Sanders, association with Ocasio-Cortez could be risky: Party centrists worry about her high profile as a democratic socialist. She has become the poster child for Republicans’ cornerstone strategy for 2020 — portraying the entire Democratic Party as pursuing a socialist agenda.

Republicans believe their job has been made easier since several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Biden, the self-styled centrist, have embraced Ocasio-Cortez’s signature issue — the Green New Deal agenda for combating climate change.

“The fact that Joe Biden is embracing the Green New Deal shows you how far left the Democratic Party has gone,” said Michael McAdams, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the political arm of the House GOP.

A March Quinnipiac University poll found that more people (36%) had an unfavorable view of Ocasio-Cortez than a favorable one (23%). But 38% didn’t know enough to have an opinion. Opinion was of course deeply split by party: 74% of Republicans viewed her unfavorably; just 7% of Democrats did.

It is not clear how much an Ocasio-Cortez endorsement would mean in the early-voting states that matter most: In Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, voters like to make their own judgments, and the endorsement of a progressive Democrat from New York City might not matter much.

Still, she has already succeeded in using her social-media megaphone to shape the 2020 debate and promote issues she cares about.

She called for former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland to end his long-shot presidential bid after he was booed at the California Democratic Party convention for saying Medicare for all was bad politics and policy.

–Sponsored Video–

She teamed up with Sen. Kamala Harris of California on a bill to expand access to federally subsidized housing. The two are not ideological soulmates but are looking for ways to promote the bill together, perhaps in a video.

Her biggest footprint has been left on the climate change debate. The Green New Deal was regarded as a wish list when Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives unveiled it earlier this year. Now it is almost a mandatory part of candidates’ stump speech.

For now, progressive candidates are happy to shine in Ocasio-Cortez’s reflected social media glow.

“Irrespective of any kind of endorsement, the fact she is often lending support for the progressive movement is so immensely helpful,” said Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager. On whether she will endorse Sanders, Shakir said, “I want to respect that she is going to have her own process. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s ties to Sanders reach back to his 2016 campaign, when she worked as a volunteer organizer in New York. When she ran for Congress in 2018, in her upstart primary challenge to 10-term Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley, she was endorsed by Our Revolution, a political organization close to Sanders — but not by Sanders himself.

After she won the primary, which was tantamount to winning the general election in the heavily Democratic district, she was enough of a political celebrity that she campaigned with Sanders on behalf of other Democrats in the midterm election.

Before she was even sworn in, she appeared with Sanders at a December 2018 forum on climate change.

“She is a bold progressive fighting for a Green New Deal,” Sanders said then.

The two also appeared at another event on the Green New Deal in May, when Ocasio-Cortez took a not-so-veiled swipe at Biden, just days after reports surfaced that he was considering a “middle ground” climate plan — a report his campaign denied.

“I will be damned if the same politicians who refused to act then are going to try to come back today and say we need a ‘middle of the road’ approach to save our lives,” she declared.

Ocasio-Cortez and Warren had not gotten to know each other until this year. They met for lunch in March at Olivia, a Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Washington. The lunch became a Twitter sensation after they were spotted. In response, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about the Middle Eastern yogurt dish they ate, and got more than 100,000 “likes.”

On more substantive matters, Ocasio-Cortez supported Warren’s campaign promise to break up big tech companies. And she spoke up to deride a news report that appeared to criticize legal consulting work Warren did while she taught at Harvard Law School.

“Breaking News: Lady Had a Job, Got Paid More Than Me,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Their joint video on Mnuchin, which raised questions about his role in the demise of Sears, where he had been a board member, got hundreds of thousands of views on Warren’s Facebook page.

Warren lionized Ocasio-Cortez when Time magazine asked her to write about the young member of Congress for its “100 most influential people of 2019” issue.

“A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar,” Warren wrote. “Today, millions are taking cues from her.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s divided 2020 loyalties were on full display in the “Skullduggery” interview.

“‘I’m very supportive of Bernie’s run” she said. “I haven’t endorsed anybody, but I’m very supportive of Bernie. I also think what Elizabeth Warren has been bringing to the table is … truly remarkable, truly remarkable and transformational.”

(c)2019 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Big Tech is under the Hot Seat… Will someone make these Monopolies do the right thing? Will those cast out be let back in?

Big Tech on a rare bipartisan hot seat
Big Tech and its practices will be under a bipartisan microscope as the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will launch its investigation into the market dominance of Silicon Valley’s biggest names. It will begin with a look at the impact of the tech giants’ platforms on news content, the media and the spread of See More misinformation online. The House Judiciary Committee’s investigation of tech market power stands out because it’s bipartisan and the first review by Congress of industry that dominated with generally little interference from federal regulators.

But with regulators at the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission apparently pursuing antitrust investigations of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, and several state attorneys general exploring bipartisan action of their own, the tech industry finds itself being increasingly accused of operating like monopolies. Rep. David Cicilline, D-RI, will lead Tuesday’s subcommittee hearing and vowed that the panel will broadly investigate the digital marketplace and “the dominance of large technology platforms,” with an eye toward legislative action to increase competition.

Investigators seek clues behind NYC helicopter crash
The helicopter pilot killed in Monday’s crash in New York Cityhas been identified as a former volunteer fire chief and a “dedicated, highly professional and extremely well trained firefighter,”as well as a skilled pilot. Tim McCormack died Monday after he made a “crash landing” on the roof of 787 Seventh Avenue in MidtownManhattan around 2 p.m. as rain and strong winds hammered the city, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) said. Investigators believe he was conducting “executive travel” and was headed to the “home airport in Linden, N.J.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio later told reporters that there appeared to be no connection to terrorism.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the National Transportation Safety Board was in charge of the investigation and “will determine probable cause of the incident.” McCormack had been involved in a bird strike-related emergency landing for a helicopter in 2014.

DOJ casts wide net in probe of surveillance abuses in Russia investigation
As part of its ongoing “multifaceted” and “broad” review into potential misconduct by U.S. intelligence agencies during the 2016 presidential campaign, the Justice Department revealed Monday it is also investigating the activities of several “non-governmental organizations and individuals.” In addition, the DOJ announced that the probe, let by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, was looking into the involvement of “foreign intelligence services.”

The DOJ’s announcement came as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced Monday that he plans to hit pause on efforts to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt, after reaching a deal with the Justice Department for access to evidence related to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. Separately, John Dean, the former White House counsel to Richard Nixon, testified Monday that he sees “remarkable parallels” between Watergate and the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report – at a dramatic Capitol Hill hearing that Republicans panned as a political “show.”

Kim Jong Un’s half-brother was CIA informant: Report
Kim Jong Un’s half-brother was working as a CIA informant before he was brazenly murdered in a Malaysian airport in 2017,according to a report Monday. Kim Jong Nam, the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il’s eldest son, “met on several occasions with agency operatives,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “There was a nexus” between Kim Jong Nam and the intelligence agency,according to the Journal’s source. Little else is known about what Kim Jong Un’s older brother told the feds; however, the report did state he “was almost certainly in contact with security services of other countries, particularly China’s.”

Ortiz back in Boston
Retired Red Sox player David Ortiz landed in Boston in an air ambulance Monday night after a targeted shooting at a bar in Santo Domingo forced doctors in his home nation of the Dominican Republic to remove his gallbladder and part of his intestine. Ortiz, 43, arrived in Boston around 10:30 p.m. after the Red Sox sent a plane to transport him to Massachusetts General Hospital.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Dems halt effort to secure pay increase for lawmakers, as contempt votes, funding drama loom.
Justin Amash gone from House Freedom Caucus after saying Trump’s conduct was ‘impeachable.’
Jonathan Morris: My decision to leave the Catholic priesthood.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Walmart vs. Amazon: Who is ahead in battle for retail dominance?
Makan Delrahim, Ajit Pai met Friday to discuss T-Mobile-Sprint deal as DOJ decision looms.
Why Americans should get into the housing market now.

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Twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton believes President Trump’s administration is a gateway to fascism.

“The idea that it can’t happen here is just old-fashioned, my friends,” the former secretary of state warned this weekend during an address at Wellesley College.

Her remarks came with a specific reference to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s new book, Fascism: A Warning. How seriously should we take any “warning” written by a former secretary of state who mocked 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney when he cautioned about the growing Russian threat? I am going to say not much.

But in any case, Clinton went on: “The demagoguery, the appeal to the crowd, the very clever use of symbols, the intimidation, verbal and physical. This is a classic pattern. There is nothing new about it, it is just different means of messages being delivered.”

The funny thing is that every supposedly fascist characteristic she attributes to the Trump administration can be attributed to her own disastrous 2016 presidential campaign. Think back to her characterization of the “deplorables,” or of the symbolism of choosing the Javits Convention Center in New York City for its glass ceiling for her Election Day evening, or of her roping off journalists, etc. The fascist characteristics that Clinton listed most certainly can be attributed to the old Clinton White House, of which the former first lady was one of its shrewdest and most ruthless defenders. (Speaking of physical intimidation, I wonder what former President Bill Clinton is up to these days.)

Though Hillary Clinton did not refer to Trump by name this weekend, her winding speech warning about the rise of a fascistic United States was aimed squarely at the current resident of the White House.

“There is nothing normal about undermining the rule of law. There is nothing normal about attacking the press. There is nothing normal about trying to undermine another branch of government. There is nothing normal about trying to use the political system to go after your enemies. There is nothing normal about any of that,” she said.

“I am a very worried optimist,” Hillary Clinton added. “You do something today that is even more outrageous than what you did yesterday, you say something that is totally beyond the pale of what should be expected from any public official. And so what happened yesterday is so quickly lost in what is happening today. And this goes way beyond party.

She concluded, “If you care about this incredible experiment that we have been engaged in now for 200-plus years, then you have to be concerned about this.”

If you claimed in 2017 that Hillary Clinton was above sniping at the White House from the sidelines as a full-time job, you would have been sorely mistaken. Hillary Clinton, who is clearly broken and bitter from having lost the most winnable of all elections to the least electable of all candidates, has been a nonstop agitator since even before Trump was inaugurated in January 2017.

With grace and charm like this, it is a real tragedy that U.S. voters missed out on having her serve as their chief executive.

© Copyright 2019, Des Moines Register and Tribune Co.

The field of Democratic presidential candidates is starting to settle into tiers: Joe Biden leads the pack, and Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are in close competition for second place, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll shows.

Twenty-four percent of Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers say former vice president Biden is their first choice for president. Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the first choice for 16% of poll respondents, while Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are at 15% and 14% respectively. 

No other candidate cracks double digits. California Sen. Kamala Harris comes closest at 7%, and other numbers within the poll indicate some underlying strengths for her.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke are at 2%.

More of the latest Iowa Poll results and coverage

  • A guide to Democrats running for president and what likely Iowa caucus participants think of them
  • Defeating Donald Trump is the top priority for likely Democratic caucus participants
  • Likely Democratic caucus participants split on Donald Trump impeachment question
  • Democrats’ virtual caucus plans remain a mystery, even for those who intend to participate
  • How proposed Democratic caucus rules make polling even harder, and how we crafted our best shot

“We’re starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of the Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “There’s a lot more commitment than we normally see this early. And some of these candidates who’ve been under the radar start to surface and compete with Joe Biden.”

But many candidates in this historically large field are failing to break into the public consciousness in any meaningful way, she said.

Seven candidates tally 1% support and nine earn no support. Two candidates — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam — were not listed by a single poll respondent as either first or second choice for president.

“There’s always been a question mark as to how many (candidates) can get any real traction,” Selzer said. “And we gave them every opportunity to show that they have some kind of constituency here. But there’s a fair number who, their constituency just isn’t very big.”

New rules prompt poll changes

For the first time, the Iowa Poll accounts for new rules proposed this year by the Iowa Democratic Party that will allow Iowans to participate in a virtual caucus online or over the phone. The results of those virtual caucuses will account for 10% of the final delegate equivalents, regardless of how many people participate.

The poll, conducted June 2-5, sampled registered voters who plan to attend the Democratic caucuses in person, as well as those who plan to attend virtually.

The poll asked respondents to name their first choice for president. The responses to that question have been combined in a calculation that gives 90% weight to the preferences of the in-person participants and 10% to the preferences of virtual participants, as will happen on caucus night. The margin of error for these results is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The rest of the results here, except where noted, use only those people who say they will caucus in person, and the margin of error is plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

Because the Iowa Poll’s methodology has changed, the results are not directly comparable to past Iowa Polls of this presidential field.

Generally, though, Biden and Sanders led the pack in both the December and March Iowa Polls, as they do now.

In December, O’Rourke was in third place, followed by Warren. In March, O’Rourke was displaced by Warren and Harris, who rose to third and fourth place.

Buttigieg was largely unknown by likely Democratic caucusgoers in March, the first time he appeared in an Iowa Poll.

“It’s like with the vitriol and the hatred and all the bad things people say — he seems to be coming out fresh,” said Patti Thacker, a Cedar Rapids poll respondent who says Buttigieg is her first choice for president. “He wants to get the country into a new mode and give us new hope there really is something better than what’s been happening.”

But even though she likes Buttigieg’s youth and vision, Thacker said she’s torn. She’s also drawn to Biden, who she says is her second choice for president.

“We need someone to sort of heal the country — to level things out and get us back on track,” she said. “I feel like he can do that on that hand.”

Who’s on your ‘list?’

Joann McCracken Young, a poll respondent and 66-year-old Des Moines resident, says Warren currently is her first choice for president. She likes Warren’s ideas, particularly on health care. But, like many Democrats right now, Young says she keeps a mental list of several candidates she’s considering.

“Joe Biden is certainly on my list,” Young said. “Kamala Harris would be on my list. Beto O’Rourke. Cory Booker. There are a lot of good people running.”

Among those who plan to caucus in person, 61% say Biden is on their list in some way.

Twenty-three percent say he is their first choice for president, 13% say he is their second choice and an additional 25% say they are actively considering him.

Just as many — 61% — say Warren is on their list. That includes 15% who choose her as their first choice, 14% who pick her as their second choice and 32% who say they are considering her.

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“That’s a strong showing for Elizabeth Warren,” Selzer said. “I think that all of the publicity lately and all of the polls lately are so Biden-heavy that for her to have any metric that shows her on par (with him) … it says to me there are people who are paying attention. Again, in a field this big, that’s step one. First, you have to get people to pay attention.”

Only three other candidates amass a majority of respondents using the same measure — being named as first or second choice or being actively considered: 56% for Sanders and 52% each for Buttigieg and Harris.

Booker, a New Jersey senator, is next with 43%, O’Rourke with 39% and Klobuchar with 32%.

Support falls off substantially beyond that and is below 15% for 11 candidates. Candidates must meet a 15% threshold on caucus night, Feb. 3, 2020, to remain viable.

Selzer said it’s too early to write off candidates who fall below the 15% viability threshold. However, “Given multiple chances for people to say they’re even thinking about these candidates — there are several who just can’t get into double digits,” she said.

Biden warning signs, Harris upsides

In a March Iowa Poll, almost all data points looked encouraging for Biden, who had yet to enter the race. Now, roughly six weeks into his candidacy, there is at least one sign of potential weakness.

Among those who list Biden as their first choice for president, 29% say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about their choice. Among all those who name another candidate as their first choice for president, that number is substantially higher (39%). 

Peter Orazem, a 63-year-old poll respondent from Ames, said Biden is his first choice for president, though he said he’s only “mildly enthusiastic” about his choice. He pointed to Biden’s recent reversal of his support for the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for most abortions.

“I may disagree with everything that Bernie Sanders believes in, and yet I’m fairly confident he believes in what he’s saying,” Orazem said. “And I don’t get that” with Biden.

But ultimately, experience and familiarity elevate Biden above other candidates about whom he’s more enthusiastic, Orazem said.

“He’s a known commodity,” Orazem said of Biden. “He’s been a heartbeat removed from the biggest stage, and he’s actually had executive experience.”

Another potential pitfall for Biden: He has more support among people who say they plan to use the new virtual caucus process than among those who say they will caucus in person.

Among the virtual caucus group, 33% say the former vice president is their first choice. That’s compared with 23% of those who plan to caucus in person. Though more support is never a bad thing, those virtual attendees will count for only 10% of the delegate equivalent total on caucus night.

The results also surface signs of weakness for Sanders. He does better with those less committed to caucusing (20% among probable caucusgoers) than those who definitely plan to participate (14%).

The poll also shows underlying strengths for Harris, who ties with Warren in being named most often as respondents’ second choice for president, with both at 14 percent.

Harris draws strong support from those who say Biden, Warren or Buttigieg is their first choice. But among those who list Sanders as their first choice, just 5% say Harris would be their second choice.

“In caucuses, people drop out,” Selzer said. “To be a strong second-choice player is a good place to be.”

Larry Slavens, a 62-year-old Urbandale resident, said Warren is his first choice for president and Harris is his second.

“She doesn’t back down,” the poll respondent said of Harris. “She was very tough in some of those Senate hearings when witnesses wouldn’t give an answer. She didn’t accept a non-answer as an answer as so many senators do.”

Slavens said Warren and Harris “are both favorites at this point,” but said the months of campaigning ahead could change things.

About this poll

The Iowa Poll, conducted June 2-5, 2019, for The Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 600 registered voters in Iowa who say they will definitely or probably participate in the 2020 Democratic caucuses. These 600 likely Democratic caucus participants were sorted into two discrete groups:  433 who say they plan to attend a caucus in person and 167 who say they plan to participate online or by telephone in a virtual caucus.

Interviewers with Quantel Research contacted 3,776 randomly selected active voters from the Iowa secretary of state’s voter registration list by telephone. The sample was supplemented with additional phone number lookups. Interviews were administered in English. Responses for all contacts were adjusted by age, sex, and congressional district to reflect their proportions among active voters in the list.

Questions based on the sample of 433 voters likely to attend the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses in person have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. Questions based on the sample of 167 voters likely to participate in a virtual caucus have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 7.6 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the true population value by more than plus or minus 4.7 or 7.6 percentage points, respectively. Results based on smaller samples of respondents—such as by gender or age—have a larger margin of error.

Because the proposed rules for the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses at the time this poll was conducted include a provision that the results of the in-person caucuses will account for 90 percent of delegate equivalents and the results of the virtual caucuses will account for 10 percent of the delegate equivalents, the first-choice candidate results of this poll have been reported out in three ways: 1) among likely in-person caucus attenders alone; 2) among likely virtual caucus participants alone; and 3) combined in a calculation that gives 90% weight to the preferences of the in-person attenders and 10% weight to the preferences of virtual participants.

Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to The Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom is prohibited.

Iowa Poll methodology

​​​​​​​

© Copyright 2019, Des Moines Register and Tribune Co.

The field of Democratic presidential candidates is starting to settle into tiers: Joe Biden leads the pack, and Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are in close competition for second place, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll shows.

Twenty-four percent of Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers say former vice president Biden is their first choice for president. Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the first choice for 16% of poll respondents, while Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are at 15% and 14% respectively. 

No other candidate cracks double digits. California Sen. Kamala Harris comes closest at 7%, and other numbers within the poll indicate some underlying strengths for her.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke are at 2%.

More of the latest Iowa Poll results and coverage

  • A guide to Democrats running for president and what likely Iowa caucus participants think of them
  • Defeating Donald Trump is the top priority for likely Democratic caucus participants
  • Likely Democratic caucus participants split on Donald Trump impeachment question
  • Democrats’ virtual caucus plans remain a mystery, even for those who intend to participate
  • How proposed Democratic caucus rules make polling even harder, and how we crafted our best shot

“We’re starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of the Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “There’s a lot more commitment than we normally see this early. And some of these candidates who’ve been under the radar start to surface and compete with Joe Biden.”

But many candidates in this historically large field are failing to break into the public consciousness in any meaningful way, she said.

Seven candidates tally 1% support and nine earn no support. Two candidates — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam — were not listed by a single poll respondent as either first or second choice for president.

“There’s always been a question mark as to how many (candidates) can get any real traction,” Selzer said. “And we gave them every opportunity to show that they have some kind of constituency here. But there’s a fair number who, their constituency just isn’t very big.”

New rules prompt poll changes

For the first time, the Iowa Poll accounts for new rules proposed this year by the Iowa Democratic Party that will allow Iowans to participate in a virtual caucus online or over the phone. The results of those virtual caucuses will account for 10% of the final delegate equivalents, regardless of how many people participate.

The poll, conducted June 2-5, sampled registered voters who plan to attend the Democratic caucuses in person, as well as those who plan to attend virtually.

The poll asked respondents to name their first choice for president. The responses to that question have been combined in a calculation that gives 90% weight to the preferences of the in-person participants and 10% to the preferences of virtual participants, as will happen on caucus night. The margin of error for these results is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The rest of the results here, except where noted, use only those people who say they will caucus in person, and the margin of error is plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

Because the Iowa Poll’s methodology has changed, the results are not directly comparable to past Iowa Polls of this presidential field.

Generally, though, Biden and Sanders led the pack in both the December and March Iowa Polls, as they do now.

In December, O’Rourke was in third place, followed by Warren. In March, O’Rourke was displaced by Warren and Harris, who rose to third and fourth place.

Buttigieg was largely unknown by likely Democratic caucusgoers in March, the first time he appeared in an Iowa Poll.

“It’s like with the vitriol and the hatred and all the bad things people say — he seems to be coming out fresh,” said Patti Thacker, a Cedar Rapids poll respondent who says Buttigieg is her first choice for president. “He wants to get the country into a new mode and give us new hope there really is something better than what’s been happening.”

But even though she likes Buttigieg’s youth and vision, Thacker said she’s torn. She’s also drawn to Biden, who she says is her second choice for president.

“We need someone to sort of heal the country — to level things out and get us back on track,” she said. “I feel like he can do that on that hand.”

Who’s on your ‘list?’

Joann McCracken Young, a poll respondent and 66-year-old Des Moines resident, says Warren currently is her first choice for president. She likes Warren’s ideas, particularly on health care. But, like many Democrats right now, Young says she keeps a mental list of several candidates she’s considering.

“Joe Biden is certainly on my list,” Young said. “Kamala Harris would be on my list. Beto O’Rourke. Cory Booker. There are a lot of good people running.”

Among those who plan to caucus in person, 61% say Biden is on their list in some way.

Twenty-three percent say he is their first choice for president, 13% say he is their second choice and an additional 25% say they are actively considering him.

Just as many — 61% — say Warren is on their list. That includes 15% who choose her as their first choice, 14% who pick her as their second choice and 32% who say they are considering her.

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“That’s a strong showing for Elizabeth Warren,” Selzer said. “I think that all of the publicity lately and all of the polls lately are so Biden-heavy that for her to have any metric that shows her on par (with him) … it says to me there are people who are paying attention. Again, in a field this big, that’s step one. First, you have to get people to pay attention.”

Only three other candidates amass a majority of respondents using the same measure — being named as first or second choice or being actively considered: 56% for Sanders and 52% each for Buttigieg and Harris.

Booker, a New Jersey senator, is next with 43%, O’Rourke with 39% and Klobuchar with 32%.

Support falls off substantially beyond that and is below 15% for 11 candidates. Candidates must meet a 15% threshold on caucus night, Feb. 3, 2020, to remain viable.

Selzer said it’s too early to write off candidates who fall below the 15% viability threshold. However, “Given multiple chances for people to say they’re even thinking about these candidates — there are several who just can’t get into double digits,” she said.

Biden warning signs, Harris upsides

In a March Iowa Poll, almost all data points looked encouraging for Biden, who had yet to enter the race. Now, roughly six weeks into his candidacy, there is at least one sign of potential weakness.

Among those who list Biden as their first choice for president, 29% say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about their choice. Among all those who name another candidate as their first choice for president, that number is substantially higher (39%). 

Peter Orazem, a 63-year-old poll respondent from Ames, said Biden is his first choice for president, though he said he’s only “mildly enthusiastic” about his choice. He pointed to Biden’s recent reversal of his support for the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for most abortions.

“I may disagree with everything that Bernie Sanders believes in, and yet I’m fairly confident he believes in what he’s saying,” Orazem said. “And I don’t get that” with Biden.

But ultimately, experience and familiarity elevate Biden above other candidates about whom he’s more enthusiastic, Orazem said.

“He’s a known commodity,” Orazem said of Biden. “He’s been a heartbeat removed from the biggest stage, and he’s actually had executive experience.”

Another potential pitfall for Biden: He has more support among people who say they plan to use the new virtual caucus process than among those who say they will caucus in person.

Among the virtual caucus group, 33% say the former vice president is their first choice. That’s compared with 23% of those who plan to caucus in person. Though more support is never a bad thing, those virtual attendees will count for only 10% of the delegate equivalent total on caucus night.

The results also surface signs of weakness for Sanders. He does better with those less committed to caucusing (20% among probable caucusgoers) than those who definitely plan to participate (14%).

The poll also shows underlying strengths for Harris, who ties with Warren in being named most often as respondents’ second choice for president, with both at 14 percent.

Harris draws strong support from those who say Biden, Warren or Buttigieg is their first choice. But among those who list Sanders as their first choice, just 5% say Harris would be their second choice.

“In caucuses, people drop out,” Selzer said. “To be a strong second-choice player is a good place to be.”

Larry Slavens, a 62-year-old Urbandale resident, said Warren is his first choice for president and Harris is his second.

“She doesn’t back down,” the poll respondent said of Harris. “She was very tough in some of those Senate hearings when witnesses wouldn’t give an answer. She didn’t accept a non-answer as an answer as so many senators do.”

Slavens said Warren and Harris “are both favorites at this point,” but said the months of campaigning ahead could change things.

About this poll

The Iowa Poll, conducted June 2-5, 2019, for The Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 600 registered voters in Iowa who say they will definitely or probably participate in the 2020 Democratic caucuses. These 600 likely Democratic caucus participants were sorted into two discrete groups:  433 who say they plan to attend a caucus in person and 167 who say they plan to participate online or by telephone in a virtual caucus.

Interviewers with Quantel Research contacted 3,776 randomly selected active voters from the Iowa secretary of state’s voter registration list by telephone. The sample was supplemented with additional phone number lookups. Interviews were administered in English. Responses for all contacts were adjusted by age, sex, and congressional district to reflect their proportions among active voters in the list.

Questions based on the sample of 433 voters likely to attend the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses in person have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. Questions based on the sample of 167 voters likely to participate in a virtual caucus have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 7.6 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the true population value by more than plus or minus 4.7 or 7.6 percentage points, respectively. Results based on smaller samples of respondents—such as by gender or age—have a larger margin of error.

Because the proposed rules for the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses at the time this poll was conducted include a provision that the results of the in-person caucuses will account for 90 percent of delegate equivalents and the results of the virtual caucuses will account for 10 percent of the delegate equivalents, the first-choice candidate results of this poll have been reported out in three ways: 1) among likely in-person caucus attenders alone; 2) among likely virtual caucus participants alone; and 3) combined in a calculation that gives 90% weight to the preferences of the in-person attenders and 10% weight to the preferences of virtual participants.

Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to The Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom is prohibited.

Iowa Poll methodology

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© Copyright 2019, Des Moines Register and Tribune Co.

The field of Democratic presidential candidates is starting to settle into tiers: Joe Biden leads the pack, and Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are in close competition for second place, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll shows.

Twenty-four percent of Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers say former vice president Biden is their first choice for president. Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the first choice for 16% of poll respondents, while Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are at 15% and 14% respectively. 

No other candidate cracks double digits. California Sen. Kamala Harris comes closest at 7%, and other numbers within the poll indicate some underlying strengths for her.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke are at 2%.

More of the latest Iowa Poll results and coverage

  • A guide to Democrats running for president and what likely Iowa caucus participants think of them
  • Defeating Donald Trump is the top priority for likely Democratic caucus participants
  • Likely Democratic caucus participants split on Donald Trump impeachment question
  • Democrats’ virtual caucus plans remain a mystery, even for those who intend to participate
  • How proposed Democratic caucus rules make polling even harder, and how we crafted our best shot

“We’re starting to see the people who are planning to caucus start to solidify,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of the Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “There’s a lot more commitment than we normally see this early. And some of these candidates who’ve been under the radar start to surface and compete with Joe Biden.”

But many candidates in this historically large field are failing to break into the public consciousness in any meaningful way, she said.

Seven candidates tally 1% support and nine earn no support. Two candidates — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam — were not listed by a single poll respondent as either first or second choice for president.

“There’s always been a question mark as to how many (candidates) can get any real traction,” Selzer said. “And we gave them every opportunity to show that they have some kind of constituency here. But there’s a fair number who, their constituency just isn’t very big.”

New rules prompt poll changes

For the first time, the Iowa Poll accounts for new rules proposed this year by the Iowa Democratic Party that will allow Iowans to participate in a virtual caucus online or over the phone. The results of those virtual caucuses will account for 10% of the final delegate equivalents, regardless of how many people participate.

The poll, conducted June 2-5, sampled registered voters who plan to attend the Democratic caucuses in person, as well as those who plan to attend virtually.

The poll asked respondents to name their first choice for president. The responses to that question have been combined in a calculation that gives 90% weight to the preferences of the in-person participants and 10% to the preferences of virtual participants, as will happen on caucus night. The margin of error for these results is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The rest of the results here, except where noted, use only those people who say they will caucus in person, and the margin of error is plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

Because the Iowa Poll’s methodology has changed, the results are not directly comparable to past Iowa Polls of this presidential field.

Generally, though, Biden and Sanders led the pack in both the December and March Iowa Polls, as they do now.

In December, O’Rourke was in third place, followed by Warren. In March, O’Rourke was displaced by Warren and Harris, who rose to third and fourth place.

Buttigieg was largely unknown by likely Democratic caucusgoers in March, the first time he appeared in an Iowa Poll.

“It’s like with the vitriol and the hatred and all the bad things people say — he seems to be coming out fresh,” said Patti Thacker, a Cedar Rapids poll respondent who says Buttigieg is her first choice for president. “He wants to get the country into a new mode and give us new hope there really is something better than what’s been happening.”

But even though she likes Buttigieg’s youth and vision, Thacker said she’s torn. She’s also drawn to Biden, who she says is her second choice for president.

“We need someone to sort of heal the country — to level things out and get us back on track,” she said. “I feel like he can do that on that hand.”

Who’s on your ‘list?’

Joann McCracken Young, a poll respondent and 66-year-old Des Moines resident, says Warren currently is her first choice for president. She likes Warren’s ideas, particularly on health care. But, like many Democrats right now, Young says she keeps a mental list of several candidates she’s considering.

“Joe Biden is certainly on my list,” Young said. “Kamala Harris would be on my list. Beto O’Rourke. Cory Booker. There are a lot of good people running.”

Among those who plan to caucus in person, 61% say Biden is on their list in some way.

Twenty-three percent say he is their first choice for president, 13% say he is their second choice and an additional 25% say they are actively considering him.

Just as many — 61% — say Warren is on their list. That includes 15% who choose her as their first choice, 14% who pick her as their second choice and 32% who say they are considering her.

► Iowa politics delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to our free newsletter.

“That’s a strong showing for Elizabeth Warren,” Selzer said. “I think that all of the publicity lately and all of the polls lately are so Biden-heavy that for her to have any metric that shows her on par (with him) … it says to me there are people who are paying attention. Again, in a field this big, that’s step one. First, you have to get people to pay attention.”

Only three other candidates amass a majority of respondents using the same measure — being named as first or second choice or being actively considered: 56% for Sanders and 52% each for Buttigieg and Harris.

Booker, a New Jersey senator, is next with 43%, O’Rourke with 39% and Klobuchar with 32%.

Support falls off substantially beyond that and is below 15% for 11 candidates. Candidates must meet a 15% threshold on caucus night, Feb. 3, 2020, to remain viable.

Selzer said it’s too early to write off candidates who fall below the 15% viability threshold. However, “Given multiple chances for people to say they’re even thinking about these candidates — there are several who just can’t get into double digits,” she said.

Biden warning signs, Harris upsides

In a March Iowa Poll, almost all data points looked encouraging for Biden, who had yet to enter the race. Now, roughly six weeks into his candidacy, there is at least one sign of potential weakness.

Among those who list Biden as their first choice for president, 29% say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about their choice. Among all those who name another candidate as their first choice for president, that number is substantially higher (39%). 

Peter Orazem, a 63-year-old poll respondent from Ames, said Biden is his first choice for president, though he said he’s only “mildly enthusiastic” about his choice. He pointed to Biden’s recent reversal of his support for the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for most abortions.

“I may disagree with everything that Bernie Sanders believes in, and yet I’m fairly confident he believes in what he’s saying,” Orazem said. “And I don’t get that” with Biden.

But ultimately, experience and familiarity elevate Biden above other candidates about whom he’s more enthusiastic, Orazem said.

“He’s a known commodity,” Orazem said of Biden. “He’s been a heartbeat removed from the biggest stage, and he’s actually had executive experience.”

Another potential pitfall for Biden: He has more support among people who say they plan to use the new virtual caucus process than among those who say they will caucus in person.

Among the virtual caucus group, 33% say the former vice president is their first choice. That’s compared with 23% of those who plan to caucus in person. Though more support is never a bad thing, those virtual attendees will count for only 10% of the delegate equivalent total on caucus night.

The results also surface signs of weakness for Sanders. He does better with those less committed to caucusing (20% among probable caucusgoers) than those who definitely plan to participate (14%).

The poll also shows underlying strengths for Harris, who ties with Warren in being named most often as respondents’ second choice for president, with both at 14 percent.

Harris draws strong support from those who say Biden, Warren or Buttigieg is their first choice. But among those who list Sanders as their first choice, just 5% say Harris would be their second choice.

“In caucuses, people drop out,” Selzer said. “To be a strong second-choice player is a good place to be.”

Larry Slavens, a 62-year-old Urbandale resident, said Warren is his first choice for president and Harris is his second.

“She doesn’t back down,” the poll respondent said of Harris. “She was very tough in some of those Senate hearings when witnesses wouldn’t give an answer. She didn’t accept a non-answer as an answer as so many senators do.”

Slavens said Warren and Harris “are both favorites at this point,” but said the months of campaigning ahead could change things.

About this poll

The Iowa Poll, conducted June 2-5, 2019, for The Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 600 registered voters in Iowa who say they will definitely or probably participate in the 2020 Democratic caucuses. These 600 likely Democratic caucus participants were sorted into two discrete groups:  433 who say they plan to attend a caucus in person and 167 who say they plan to participate online or by telephone in a virtual caucus.

Interviewers with Quantel Research contacted 3,776 randomly selected active voters from the Iowa secretary of state’s voter registration list by telephone. The sample was supplemented with additional phone number lookups. Interviews were administered in English. Responses for all contacts were adjusted by age, sex, and congressional district to reflect their proportions among active voters in the list.

Questions based on the sample of 433 voters likely to attend the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses in person have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. Questions based on the sample of 167 voters likely to participate in a virtual caucus have a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 7.6 percentage points. This means that if this survey were repeated using the same questions and the same methodology, 19 times out of 20, the findings would not vary from the true population value by more than plus or minus 4.7 or 7.6 percentage points, respectively. Results based on smaller samples of respondents—such as by gender or age—have a larger margin of error.

Because the proposed rules for the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses at the time this poll was conducted include a provision that the results of the in-person caucuses will account for 90 percent of delegate equivalents and the results of the virtual caucuses will account for 10 percent of the delegate equivalents, the first-choice candidate results of this poll have been reported out in three ways: 1) among likely in-person caucus attenders alone; 2) among likely virtual caucus participants alone; and 3) combined in a calculation that gives 90% weight to the preferences of the in-person attenders and 10% weight to the preferences of virtual participants.

Republishing the copyright Iowa Poll without credit to The Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom is prohibited.

Iowa Poll methodology

​​​​​​​


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